Divorce is tough (as is the break up of a long-term partnership) for all concerned – the individuals involved and their friends and family.
Whether you initiated the divorce or not, emotions are strong and it takes time to get out the other side and into your new life.
I’ve been through a couple of divorces myself, sadly, for completely different reasons.
My first husband and I married in 1979 (I was twenty, he was
He went away to train for a new job and, in six weeks, found someone else. I obviously knew something was wrong and I prised it out of him on Christmas Eve. It was a massive shock. We’d been trying for a family before this happened.
The reaction of my friends and family was interesting. A number of them decided it was the time to tell me their darkest secrets about their relationships and those of other family members (as if it would help! It just added to the level of horror in my life at that time).
He did ask me to give our relationship another try in
The divorce went through without acrimony. I felt it was important to be fair rather than revengeful.
I did forgive him reasonably quickly and was able to appreciate the good times we had together. He stayed in the relationship. They returned to our area and got a new GSD and we were friends at the dog club until he emigrated to Australia and they had a family there.
I decided to have the stereotypical relationship ‘on the rebound’.
Someone at the dog club who I’d known for years (and his wife and children) had split up from his wife and we started seeing each other. (I’d not been to the club for a while because my first husband had the car when he was away so I’d missed some events that would have been useful information for me, such as my new fella’s drinking problems.)
A couple of people did sit me down and say he wasn’t a good choice. I was so shocked and they didn’t say why
We did get on extremely well, liked the same things and laughed a lot. He was a very intelligent and popular chap. He did like a drink but so did I (socially, and he had a tough job in the Police.
We married in 1986.
I sold my house to move to a Police house so his daughters (one/both lived with us) could stay at their schools. His ex-wife hated me and had a child with her new fella so I was led to believe this was why their marriage had broken up (I was told many years later that his drinking had caused them to lose their house and that is why they had split up. Nobody told me in all the years we were together, and that was quite tough to deal with).
He’d had a vasectomy in his twenties so had two reversal operations so we could try for our own family but they didn’t work. We had one round of IVF with donor insemination in 1992 and then it all stopped. His drinking became a massive problem (probably the two were linked). I hurt my back (psychosomatically I’m not surprised) pulling up a computer room tile. Then I got made redundant too.
No job. A husband swinging between the person I knew and an erratic stranger. Teenage step-daughters throwing wobblies and pinging between us and their mother…. it was horrendous and people outside didn’t really see anything was wrong. My self-esteem was at rock bottom.
My route back
I attended a half day a week ‘self-esteem’ course. I didn’t know what to expect but it changed my life. The tutor introduced me to Louise Hay’s work and the ‘subliminal affirmation’ cassette tapes were my prop. They made such a difference to my life. I also found her morning and evening affirmations.
What a difference it made to have someone telling me she loved me every morning and evening! I also realised how I’d put everyone else first in my life and had been living my life through my husband. Him not being there for me had meant my own identity had been lost too. I had to find that again.
I recovered myself enough to get a new job in 1993 and decided it was time to move house again in 1995 (we’d bought our own house a few years earlier). We moved out into the countryside between our workplaces and hoped it would be the fresh start he needed to sort the drinking out.
It wasn’t. I’ve talked about the drinking elsewhere so won’t go into that again.
I knew there had to be a way we could separate and both have the new start we needed. That happened in 1999. We just separated initially on the basis that if he could sort himself out we might get back together (though I knew in my heart this would not happen). He lived a couple of miles away and we stayed friends but sadly he continued drinking and getting into debt and died a few years later.
Once I was on my own I had to put myself back together and this involved a wide variety of things – a good career at work, my parents were brilliant looking after the dogs at times (and me), personal development weekends away where I started to find myself again (thanks to Roy Martin for running those) and made friends. Slowly I managed to build myself a new life.
I started reading and listening to lots of Hay House and other materials – Susan Jeffers’ “Feel the fear and do it anyway”, Wayne Dyer’s work, Byron Katie, etc.
Chiropractic fixed my bad back after medical interventions failed. I tried crystals, essences, homoeopathy, reiki, massage. Spiritual healing from an ex-roofer who had healed his wife’s broken toe and set off on a new path was bizarre and yet deeply effective (I started to see what was happening as he worked).
My career in my ‘normal life’ was going well and I resumed dog training again, and motorhome holidays away.
This all led to me being so fascinated with energy medicine that I wanted
I met Chris in 2008 and a new life started.
Here are some things I learned. Things will be different for you but I hope you can find some useful things here.
Give yourself time to feel
Honour how you feel and the emotions that come up. Focus on releasing them. Bottling them up in our bodies is very bad for us in the longer term.
The range of emotions it brings up is vast and they all tend to be powerful and hard to handle – grief, anger, frustration, impatience, jealousy, blame…
Some emotions are directed at ourselves, and some to the other person/people involved and the many hoops that have to be jumped through.
Do this releasing in private so it is uninhibited, here are some quick ideas
- Write a lengthy rant at your partner and the situation on a piece of paper and destroy it.
- Tapping is brilliant (EFT) – you can tap the various points while you rant and relief is perceptible.
- Flower essences – such as Bach Rescue Remedy can ease some of the stress and anxieties and are easy to get.
Take care who you talk to (and what you share with whom)
Some people will throw more rubbish back at you because they want to turn the conversation around to them and belittle what you are feeling. That just adds to your pain so is no help to you at all. You will be better putting on a brave face to those people rather than blurting out all your feelings.
What you need is someone who will listen and empathise with you without offering suggestions.
Thoughts Become Things… Choose the Good Ones!
Watch your thoughts
Draw in a better future. Get out of focusing on how bad things are and start dreaming of the future you want for yourself.
I remember thinking to myself “I can’t take any more” one really bad evening. The following day the Universe proved I could by flooding the ground floor of my house!
I have never said that again!
These days I am a big fan of dreaming my life into being by focusing on how I want things to be rather than how they actually are.
My inspirations for this are Mike Dooley, Abraham-Hicks, Anita Moorjani, Joe Dispenza and other Hay House authors.
Get your mood up
Have fun! Spend time with people not involved with the situation who lift you up.
Trigger all the senses to feel good:
- Sounds – Listen to uplifting music, audiobooks etc.
- Sights – Watch Youtube videos, films, Netflix etc. that make you feel good. Put motivational affirmations, pictures and other visual reminders up to take you forward.
- Smells – Spray space clearing or just nice smelling sprays around.
- Tastes – eat foods that give you pleasure (and are also good for you)
- Touch – go for a massage, have a bubble bath, a sauna.
Be physically active – going for a walk, run, cycle, trip to the gym. Activity lifts our mood and fitness. Yoga is great for the mind as well. Golf occupies the mind as well as body so is a good escape.. there will be something you can do that you enjoy.
Get out in nature. Go and hug a tree! You might be surprised just how good that feels. I remember leaning with my back against a huge Oak tree one time and feeling it dragging all my worries to its roots. I welled up with tears.
Stay as calm as you can, be kind, and choose your words carefully
This is something one has to practice (and it is an aim rather than
Words said in anger cannot be taken back. You loved this person once, you may have children and the relationship will
There is a good soul inside that person, speak to that rather than the person who is presenting him/herself to you at this time. It will make your life easier in the long term so you will benefit from this approach.
If you can get through it feeling that you did your best and did not compromise on your values, then you will have no regrets to deal with later.
“When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.”
We all struggle with the insecurities of our egos, with the insecurity of being wrong.
It took me a long time to get over the lengthy criticisms I received from my first husband. I remember a lengthy dog walk having him comparing me to his new love. Had he not done that, I might have been there for him when he wanted me back.
I did get incredible relief from smashing a glass on the hearth one day when my second husband was very drunk and had left sharp knives and a hot iron lying around with the dogs there :-). However I wouldn’t recommend it (he was shocked at the time but didn’t even remember me doing it afterwards, of course, and I was ashamed of myself for doing it)
Keeping on an even keel and retaining a sense of perspective is the best aim in my experience. Gwyneth puts it this way:
I wanted to turn my divorce into a positive. What if I didn’t blame the other person for anything, and held myself 100
Finding the way forward
I called the Samaritans once. That single call allowed me to clarify my thoughts and get out of the chatter produced by those with good intentions telling me what to do about my second marriage.
A number of people told me to “get out” without listening to my situation. That would have left him in a house and garden which would go to ruin and me unable to afford somewhere else. In the end we both had homes that suited us and set up for the future.
Take responsibility for your life. More than likely, your decisions got you into this mess (all be it a younger and less wise you) and you can get yourself out of it. This might sound brutal but try taking that perspective, it actually frees you up to take action.
You have the strength to get through this (even if you don’t think you do).
Taking responsibility within ourselves (whatever has happened) is actually incredibly empowering. It gives us control of the situation from an emotional standpoint and allows us to start building a new life, letting go of the past.
Forgive everything – for the sake of your own health (even if the other person’s actions could be said not to deserve it).
No, that isn’t easy to do. We want to scream and shout and say it isn’t fair. We want to hang onto the fairytale relationship and future we thought we were getting. We want to blame someone else for the situation we are now in. We want someone else to sort it all out for us perhaps.
However, if we take that perspective we aren’t moving on. Perhaps we become like a broken record harping on about who did what to us all the time. We then get labelled as the person who had that happen to him/her rather than the glorious being we truly are. We give all the power to the other people involved and we are firmly stuck in the past.
Turn it around. Take control. Find the way forward.
Get yourself back to being in balance so you can move on!
You can do this!
How I can provide support
I’ve supported numerous clients through their divorces, or recovery from the after effect of divorce, over the years. I also support the children, if necessary.
It affects each person in unique ways, so holistic therapies are a superb way to take things forwards. I provide remote consultations so can be your ‘secret helper’ working in the background to help you through this.
I was a Samaritan volunteer for several years so am also a good listener, able to empathise without judgement.
My shamanic training has given me the ability to tune in and sense what you need at the time we speak so there is a lot more going on when we speak than just the words exchanged.
Get started with a 45 minute consultation with me, let me be here for you as you get your life back on track.